Since 2017, CanFASD has been publishing an FASD Common Messages Guide, a resource focused on respectful ways of writing and talking about FASD. Each spring, they review the guide and update it with new research and conversations that emerge in the FASD community. Over the last several years, individuals with lived experience have been increasingly involved in providing their feedback on the topics we cover and language we use to describe issues related to FASD.
This year, they have made a few changes, including:
- A new preamble to increase transparency about our process for developing and updating the guide
- Changes to the language we use to refer to the “costs” associated with FASD
- A new section on lived experience
- Major updates regarding gender-inclusive language
- New sections on neurodiversity and interdependence
An important point to consider when using the guide is that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to language and messaging does not always apply. The suggestions made in the guide are intended to be inclusive and respectful for all individuals with FASD and their families. However, recognizing the diversity and uniqueness of each person with FASD, it is always recommended to consult at an individual level to ensure that language choices are reflective and respectful of each person’s experience.